ATLANTA (MAY 19, 2014)—Today, the Lewy Body Dementia Association (LBDA) tells Americans DON’T FORGET to PAY IT FORWARD THIS MAY FOR MEMORY’S SAKE—with one click of the mouse anyone can help halt the rising tide of dementia. A small gift can make a big difference. With an aging population, this is a message that affects millions of Americans. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that the number of people aged 65 and older will increase from 35 million (2000) to 71 million by 2030. As dementia affects approximately 6 percent to 10 percent of individuals aged 65 years or older, rates of dementia may increase from 2.1 million or 3.5 million (6 to 10 percent of this population) to as many as 7.1 million by 2030. LBDA asks people to Pay It Forward: “Take five to give $5; then, ask one friend to do the same—and don’t forget . . . a penny paid today may be a memory earned tomorrow!”
More Than Cancer, Americans Fear Dementia
In an aggressive move to educate the public and advance research, LBDA undertook a national awareness campaign—Lewy Who?—this year. Why? Because more than cancer, Americans fear dementia, according to one poll from the United Kingdom (2011) reported in an Intelihealth.com article, Is it Alzheimer’s, Dementia, or Something Else? December 23, 2013, by Michael Craig Miller, M.D. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC):
Dementia is a syndrome characterized by cognitive or memory impairments not involving any alteration in consciousness or alertness. Impairment may include memory loss, difficulty in understanding or using words, inability to carry out motor activities despite adequate motor function, and failure to identify or recognize objects. People with dementia commonly experience impairments in occupational and social functioning and may present behavioral disturbances.
Lewy body dementia (LBD) is one of more than 100 different causes of dementia. Affecting more than 1.3 million people, LBD is the second most common cause of progressive dementia following Alzheimer’s disease, and is the most misdiagnosed form of dementia.
LBD: A Demanding Debilitating Dementia . . . more so than Alzheimer’s
According to Dr. Howard I. Hurtig, M.D., Chair, Department of Neurology, Pennsylvania Hospital, and Elliott Professor of Neurology at the University of Pennsylvania, “Individuals with dementia have an ever increasing need for health care resources as the disease progresses. Caring for LBD is especially resource intense (and may be greater than in Alzheimer’s disease) because of the challenge to the provider and caregiver of treating problems created by the combination of cognitive impairment and parkinsonism, which occurs in most patients with LBD.”
A debilitating disease, Lewy body dementia impairs thinking, movement, sleep and behavior (causing people to see hallucinations or act out dreams, sometimes violently). Also, it affects autonomic body functions, such as blood pressure control, temperature regulation, and digestion. Recognizing symptoms early can help a person with LBD get comprehensive and appropriate treatment and the caregiver get much needed support.
Support for Healthcare Providers and Families
Education about LBD is urgently needed. The Lewy Body Dementia Association offers healthcare providers, individuals with LBD and caregivers a range of information, resources and support. To receive a packet of information or to access other resources about LBD, visit http://www.lbda.org/lewywho/.
To STOP THE RISING TIDE OF LEWY BODY DEMENTIA, advance research and increase education, people can PAY IT FORWARD now. Simply click on “Ways To Give” in the upper right-hand corner of the web page at http://www.lbda.org/lewywho/. A SMALL GIFT CAN MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE. Then, ask one friend to do the same.
About Lewy Body Dementia Association
The Lewy Body Dementia Association (LBDA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness of Lewy body dementias (LBD), promoting scientific advances, and supporting people with LBD, their families and caregivers. LBD, a complex disease that can present with a range of physical, cognitive, and behavioral symptoms, is a “family disease.” It dramatically affects not only the person diagnosed but also the primary caregiver. A national health organization, LBDA supports all those affected by Lewy body dementias through outreach, education and research. To learn more about LBD and LBDA, please visit lbda.org.
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